Hi, friends! So, I finally have some more great news to share, and a story.
Some of you may know that when I first started writing for kids, I wrote picture book manuscripts, not novels. In fact, in my pre-agented days, I would send out my picture books to small publishing houses, and more than once my manuscripts would be taken to acquisitions meetings… and then, nothing. Over and over again. I loved those picture book babies so much, and it really did break my heart each time another one would languish. Like, actual ache in my chest kind of heartbreak.
So I started turning them into novels. Both Nightingale’s Nest and Wish Girl were actually grown from the seeds of picture books that I had loved and couldn’t give up on.
I kept writing picture books over the years (and calling them poems, and relegating them to a file on my laptop called Greeting Cards. Long story.), but it wasn’t until my agent Ginger K. expressed an interest in seeing one that this happened:
Anne Schwartz at Random House/Schwartz has acquired, at auction, North American rights for If You Get Lost by Nikki Loftin (l.) (Wish Girl), illustrated by Deborah Marcero (In a Jar). This picture book debut from the author tells the story of a stuffed bunny who falls from a car window at the start of her family’s camping trip, and begins a magical adventure through the forest to find her way back. Publication is set for summer 2023. Ginger Knowlton at Curtis Brown represented the author, and Laura Rennert at Andrea Brown Literary represented the illustrator.
In just a few short weeks – days, almost! – I went from dreaming about having a picture book of my own out in the world, to finding out multiple editors also thought the manuscript was worthy, to realizing my very first Baby Author Nikki dream was going to come true. Anne Schwartz at Random House Children’s Books made my heart flutter when she signed the book, found the perfect artist for the project (Have you seen Deborah Marcero’s work? Holy wow! Her books – they’re brilliant, and the art is stunning), and now all I can do is dance around the house and wonder at my good fortune.
Well, and write more picture books, because my heart? Isn’t quite as broken as it once was. Not quite.
I hope one of your dreams comes true soon. Keep writing, and reading, and holding your heart together as best you can.